TEAM ARKEA - SAMSIC
The dream of a region (which was annexed to France in 1532 but has retained its distinct flavour) ever since Hinault retired came true in 2014 with the Tour de France debut of an unashamedly Breton team whose main sponsor was the regional council, headed by the politician and great cycling aficionado Jean-Yves Le Drian. Before the Grand Départ in Yorkshire, the last participation by a regional team from West France (more specifically, the Ouest-Sud-Ouest team) in the Tour de France dated back to 1961.
Its passion for cycling and its four Tour winners (Lucien Petit-Breton, Jean Robic, Louison Bobet and Bernard Hinault) make Brittany a hotbed and, in some way, the cradle of French cycling, even if 26 years have gone by since the last time a Breton rider wore the yellow jersey (Stéphane Heulot in 1996). Before signing for the team from his home region, Warren Barguil ended a 23-year drought in Foix in 2017, when he became the first Breton to win a stage since Pascal Lino in 1994.
The team was born in 1994 as an amateur outfit on the initiative of industrialist and cycling enthusiast Jean Floc'h. It became a professional squad in 2005 and entered the second division of the sport in 2011. Bretagne-Séché Environnement became Fortuneo, which joined forces with a variety of co-sponsors, and then Arkéa–Samsic. The team turned heads in its first Tour de France starts thanks to joining numerous breakaways, Brice Feillu's 16th place overall in 2014 (an exploit he matched in 2017) and the striking disqualification in 2015 of its Argentinian leader Eduardo Sepúlveda, who lost his nerve after a mechanical problem and hitched a ride in a car, not to mention British sprinter Dan McLay bursting onto the stage with a third place in Montauban in 2016. While new recruit André Greipel was a big flop, Warren Barguil won the French championship and finished tenth in the 2019 Tour in his return to the roots. The signing of Nairo Quintana took the Breton team to a whole new level. The Colombian is still dreaming of the Yellow Jersey, even at the age of 32, although his countrymen Egan Bernal and Miguel Angel Lopez have more recently hogged the limelight. His first two participations in the Tour in the colours of Arkéa-Samsic were not very impressive, though. He has twice tackled the race after recovering from injury and this will be the case again in 2022 following his accident at the Tour of Turkey. In 2021, he wore the Polka Dot Jersey for five days. He is sure that he can do better, even if his heyday with Movistar is behind him. In any case, he has clearly improved the collective strength of the Breton team, which is on the doorstep of the WorldTour.
- Final victory0
- Stages victory0
- Yellow Jersey0
- Other race Won0
Overall wins: 0
Podium finishes: 0
Stage wins: 0
Secondary classification wins: 0
Yellow jerseys: 0
8: The number of Tour de France starts by the Bretagne-Séché Environnement team, later renamed Fortuneo-Vital Concept, Fortuneo-Oscaro, Fortuneo–Samsic and then Arkéa–Samsic.
5 July 2014: First kilometre of racing for Bretagne-Séché Environnement on the Tour de France and its first breakaway, launched by Benoît Jarrier.
07 July 2016: Dan McLay claims the first Tour de France stage podium for the team with a third place in Montauban behind Mark Cavendish and Marcel Kittel.
28 July 2019: Warren Barguil (tenth) nets Arkéa–Samsic its first top 10 overall finish, building on Brice Feillu's sixteenth places in 2014 and 2017.
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